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Recommendation required for Career Development while staying in UK for 30 days.

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by tarekahf, May 5, 2011.

  1. tarekahf

    tarekahf Bit Poster

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    Dear All,

    I am planning to spend about 30 days in UK in July 2011 to get PMP Certification or Equivalent and plan for MSc in Software Engineering in Oxford University.

    My objective is to develop my Career towards Managerial Role in IT. So I think getting certifiaction is a must in this case.

    I have B.Sc. in Software Engineering and more than 16 years of experience in IT (Software Development for private companies). I am facing difficulties progreesing in my career, and I am seeking to get more certifications.

    I have contacted Oxford University, Management Training and IT Training Courses - Learning Tree International and Firebrand Training | Accelerated IT Training .

    I have received very good offer from Firebrand training, a complete package to get PMP Training + Certification including accommodation, to be completed in 5 days.

    Learning Tree offered me good 3 course pass, with very good discount, for Software Engineering Program (from a total of 4 courses): Software Engineering Project Management Certified Professional . Too bad Learning Tree are not ofering PMP Courses during July.

    I never heard about Firebrand Training, but I am confident that Learning Tree is an authentic and popular company.

    I hope you can help me.

    I need your advice/feedback as per the following:

    1. Is Firebrand Training a popular/recommended company ?

    2. Which company you recommend: Learning Tree or Firebrand ? Do you recommend any other company ?

    3. Could you please recommend me some connections or communities in UK, where I can find a place to stay at reasonable prices.

    4. What recommendation you have for me to take advantage of my stay in UK to help me acheive my objective: Develop my career towards managerial role in IT.

    Appreciate your help ...

    Tarek.
     
  2. Monkeychops

    Monkeychops Kilobyte Poster

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    Nothing wrong with Firebrand, decent enough company (as decent as a training co can be :p).

    Can be a little pricey on the face of it, but then that includes accomodation and food (not great but edible) and any exams normally.

    If you get a Firebrand course run out of Wyboston Lakes then it'll be residential so you will stay there on site.

    I've used them a couple of times as have a lot of my colleagues.
     
  3. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I don't like their marketing and sales approach, apparently they have some good trainers. Many of their cert courses seem to follow the cram/bootcamp approach with very aggressive time scales which I think is bad. They are also fairly expensive.

    I've only used Learning Tree and QA learning in the past out of the big providers. They were both good with some excellent trainers. I think it really depends on what you want, how much you have to spend and if you are lucky with the course and trainer provided. Generally you get far better value on longer courses like a masters for instance.

    Universities usually have an accommodations department, otherwise its upto you to find lodging with something like Loot or Gumtree. Otherwise there are cheap hotels like Travelodge or B&B's.

    To me 30 days in a foreign country is probably not the best way to learn anything unless you already have accommodation etc lined up, if you for example are coming here for a conference or pre-booked masters. Otherwise you will likely just spend a lot of time hitting the ground and sorting basic things.

    The PMP is not well known here, its mostly used in the US I think, most people go for Prince2 instead. I'm not sure any qualifications carry much weight in management.

    There seems a bit of a split between traditional project management and agile approaches, what type of managerial role do you want, Development Manager, Architect, Team Leader, Project Manager, Scrum Master, Agile Coach, IT Manager ?

    The standard of management in the UK does not seem particularly great from my experience, we could have a huge debate on whether that is because known best practice is not learned and applied or because there is no agreed best practice etc.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2011
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  4. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Don't get training providers and universities mixed up.
    Universities may 'offer' you a place subject to their entry requirements and availability of places.
    Training providers will 'offer' you a place if you have a blank cheque and a pulse.

    Not sure what you're hoping to achieve in 30 days.
    Are you after a student visa by any chance?
    If so, you won't get one through a training provider, no matter what they tell you.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  5. Monkeychops

    Monkeychops Kilobyte Poster

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    This is very true, I can't stand their sale and marketing, but the trainers I've had when there have been very very good.

    A colleague of mine was recently on a course with them however and the trainer was terrible to the point where all the candidates are getting the course again for free.

    QA are the other company I've used for things and againthe trainers have been hit and miss, most recent one was excellent.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2011
  6. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    If you're going to go into IT Management in Education, I recommend this and this.

    The ICT Support in Education: Practitioner is a level 4 qualification (comparable HNC level qualification/first year at Uni) and the ICT Support in Education: Manager qualification is a level 5 qualification (comparable to HND level qualification/second year at Uni).

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  7. tarekahf

    tarekahf Bit Poster

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    Thanks a lot for all who replied. Realy very useful indeed.

    For accomodation, Learning Tree provided me this link:

    Welcome to CentralRez

    Any comments about centralrez will be appreciated.

    The good thing about Firebrand is that they provide accomodation and food, in addition, they will arrange for Certification in case of PMP.

    My objective to get something like PMP Certification, it is to add it to my CV so that I will get better evaluation from my current employer and others, and eventually upgrade my position.

    My objective during 30 days trip in UK is to make the first step in this journey. I will have to get some certification, and plan for the 3-4 years journey probably a MSc Degree from Oxford University: Software Engineering at Oxford | The Software Engineering Programme

    I received reply from Oxford University, and they told me "to earn a Master of Science (MSc) from the University of Oxford: ten short courses are required, together with a project and dissertation." I have to pay for each course, and there is a yearly fee to register for Masters. They said that such program is desinged for perople like me who are currently employed and cannot afford to leave their work for long periods, but I have to travel to UK 3 or 4 times per year.

    Any comments on Oxford University offer will be appreciated.

    Because Learning Tree does not offer full package for PMP PMI Certification, I am thinking to stick to the Offer from Firebarnd Training (PMI PMP Certification | 5-day Certification | Firebrand Training) and get some additional courses/certification.

    Tarek.
     
  8. tarekahf

    tarekahf Bit Poster

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    I have no problem going to UK since I am Canadian. I went to UK one year ago and I get my Umbraco CMS Certification.
     
  9. tarekahf

    tarekahf Bit Poster

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    My current Title is "Senior System Analyst". I wnat to move towards "IT Manager".

    Tarek.
     
  10. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Like I said Prince2 is more widely known in the UK for traditional management of software development. If you're staying in Canada then PMP might be better. What's wrong with Canadian or US universities ?

    I looked at this course years back, it appeared to be a bit of a 'money grab', you are looking at 25k+ for part time study over 4 years, that is not including travel and accommodation. You used to be able to do a part time masters for 3k a year for two years at some universities. Oxford is not the top uni for computer science in the UK and the modular masters seems pretty average. Since then UK uni fees have been raised so it might be a better deal now.

    If you want to get into management I'd have thought an MBA might be more useful. However these tend to be expensive from the top UK schools.

    Well its likely they will want someone with more of an infrastructure background for IT Manager roles, you might benefit from getting out of development and doing consultancy or infrastructure for a bit. I expect other people will have more to say on this.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2011
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  11. tarekahf

    tarekahf Bit Poster

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    Really very helpful. Thank you.

    I at 6 hours flight away from UK, and my wife is British so I have some ground. It does make a lot of sence to spend some time in UK with the family during my annual vacation, and improve on my career and make a plan (but I will be away from my family suring study).

    I am thinking to arrange for the following 3 courses from Firebrand Training:

    Microsoft MCPD / MCTS .NET 4 Web Developer | 11-day Certification | Firebrand Training

    Scrum Certification in Scrum | 2-day Certification | Firebrand Training

    PMI PMP Certification | 5-day Certification | Firebrand Training

    And during my stay, I will do proper investigation on how to plan for MBA or MSc in Software Engineering.

    Any recommendation / comments will be appreciated. If you provide me with leads or links, it will be great.

    Tarek.
     
  12. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    I agree.
    It always struck me as appealing to people who were prepared to 'pay' for an Oxford degree without having to gain admittance via the traditional undergraduate route.
    That's probably grossly unfair, but hey, it's me.

    Why not consider the Open University. You can stay at home then...
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  13. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    I also looked at the OU masters program, I have to say I was not that impressed, like the Oxford programme it had many filler modules and a fair amount of undergrad level stuff. The costs of OU postgrad courses are also 3-4 times as expensive as OU undergrad level courses. A part time OU IT masters will likely cost around 12k. Which is still expensive considering you could go to a bricks and mortar establishment via nightschool with real lectures etc for that.

    Then I found many other universities were doing various distance learning schemes all around the world. Although it is hard to know how well respected they are.

    Charles Stuart University was interesting because along with a few other universities they have started running modular courses that give credit for certifications. They also do distance learning.

    The Illinois Internet Computer Science option looked interesting but the modules I wanted to study were only available on campus and studying on campus in the US would cost too much as an international student.

    With the recent tuition fee rises in the UK the most prudent course for me to pursue if I do go for a masters would probably be to do a part time masters at a local UK uni while working, a year fulltime at a university in Europe if the education is the primary motivator, or otherwise I could use one of the online 'paper mill' places.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2011
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  14. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Well, yes, that is indeed true.
    Quite often it's swings and roundabouts. The thing that wins me over to the OU is that distance learning is their core business, and they do it extremely well.
    In the case of traditional universities who have adopted distance learning, I always feel that they've jumped on the bandwagon of having paying students who never turn up. I always worry that you end up with a classroom curriculum that just gets posted to you rather than handed to you. It doesn't quite work.

    I've been with the OU for over 10 years now (on and off). I can't say I'm working towards any overall goal, I'm just plugging away at modules that interest me. I've got a bit of a dog's dinner of qualifications out of it, but I guess you could say that it makes me fairly er, uniquely qualified...
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  15. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Yes I do think the OU generally do an extremely good job and represent good value.

    Maybe there is just not enough demand for their masters programs or the undergrad courses are subsidised or something.

    To me it looked a bit like the Oxford scheme where they were trying to fleece IT professionals for more than other masters students because they tend to earn more. This is similar to my MBA comments, you can pay an outrageous amount for an MBA as they assume its going to make you an instant CEO... :rolleyes:
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  16. tarekahf

    tarekahf Bit Poster

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    It seems one of my posts was not approved or lost.

    I prefer to check with UK due to distance and other reasons. I will investigate Canada if I do not find good options in UK.

    Reference to various posts, I suppose OU = Open University, right ?

    The bottom line for me is to apply for Masters Degree: MBA or MSc Software Engineering, and here are my constraints:

    1. I will not be able to study while working. I prefer to make short trips to complete parts of the program requirements. I can afford to spend 3-4 monts per year to complete the program.

    2. Cost is a main factor. Also, the reputation of the University is important.

    As I mentioned before, I need to put such degree on my CV to help me target higher positions in the job market.

    I have made initial plan to stay in UK for 30 days, during this period, I will take few courses in various subjects with one of the training providers I mentioned in a previous post, one of which will be PMP PMI. During my stay, I will do more detailed search for various options.

    Having said that, I appreciat it if you could post a few names/links for any University you know it is worth checking, and I will contact them, so that I am ready when I am in UK.

    In the mean time, I will check all references mentioned in this thread.

    Tarek.
     
  17. tarekahf

    tarekahf Bit Poster

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  18. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Correct

    I suggest the OU (distance learning with some classes) or the University of Northampton.

    For a Master's degree level qualification, the OU isn't the cheapest. However the OU is one of the few Universities that has a quadruple accredited MBA program (accredited by the AACSB, EQUIS, CEL and AMBA - this must be new as when I looked into this last year, they were only triple accredited).

    They have two MBA programs:

    A standard MBA and MBA (technology based).

    Another university that I recommend is the University of Northampton. They have a very interesting MSc program: MSc IT Service Management. It's aligned with SFiA and based on ITIL. Modes of study include: Part time, Full time and Distance learning.

    I don't know the fees for the next academic year, but this year it was about £5k.

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  19. Bri1981

    Bri1981 Byte Poster

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    Can you not just self study for the PMP? It's not that difficult, there are plenty of books out there.
    Also, do you meet the eligibility requirements for it?

    Category 1: With a baccalaureate degree
    PMP candidates must:
    1.Document at least three calendar years experience in project management (during the past six years), including at least 4,500 hours experience within the five recognized project management process groups.
    2. Document at least 35 contact hours of formal training in project management.
    3. Pass the PMP Certification Exam.

    Category 2: Without a baccalaureate degree PMP candidates must:
    1. Document at least five calendar years experience in project management (within the past eight years), including at least 7,500 hours experience within the five recognized project management process groups.
    2. Document at least 35 contact hours of formal training in project management.
    3. Pass the PMP Certification Exam.
     
    Certifications: See signature
    WIP: MBA entry diploma
  20. tarekahf

    tarekahf Bit Poster

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    Thanks a lot. Realy so useful information. I will check them.

    I like to get your opinion about me spending about 8,500.00 GPB to get 3 certification (MCPD .NET4 Web Developer + Scrum + PMP PMI) during my coming vacation, and during this period I will get in touch with the universities you mentioned.

    Tarek.
     

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